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Ch 3: Hellenism and the Athenian Achievement

About This Chapter

Learn about essential aspects of Western civilization by watching informative video lessons with short quizzes for self-reflection. Learn about the Hellenism period, achievements of the Athenians and more.

Hellenism and the Athenian Achievement

The Athenian democracy was a vastly different system than what we think of democracies today. Political representatives were really limited in their job duties because the people had all the say in making choices for whatever the government did. Then entered Hellenism and there was an abrupt change for the people of Athens to a new Greek system. As you will learn through the video lessons, the change from the Athenian democracy to Hellenism was quite drastic. Some of the topics covered in this chapter include:

  • Athenian democracy
  • Pericles
  • Greek theatre
  • Platonic idealism
  • Socrates

VideoObjective
Athenian Democracy: Solon and CleisthenesReview the key political and social reforms of Solon and Cleisthenes.
Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden AgeLearn about the traits of Periklean Athens.
Greek Theatre: Tragedy and ComedyTake a look at the different styles of Greek theatre during this time.
Peloponnesian War and ThucydidesReview the history and aftermath of the Peloponnesian War.
Socrates: Life, Death and PhilosophyExplore the life and lasting impact of this famous philosopher.
Platonic Idealism: Plato and His InfluenceLearn about the concepts central to Plato's philosophy.
Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and InfluenceDig into the core facets of Aristotle's philosophy.
Alexander the Great and the Birth of HellenismExplore the achievements and legacy of Alexander the Great.
The Library of Alexandria & The Benefits of HellenizationLearn about the headquarters of the world's scholarship.

10 Lessons in Chapter 3: Hellenism and the Athenian Achievement
Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

1. Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

Although Athens is remembered for creating the first democracy, it took many years and multiple leaders to develop the system we think of today. Learn about who took control, what reforms they made and how the people revolted against the old system.

Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

2. Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

This lecture covers the formation of the Delian League, its development into the Athenian Empire and the peculiar place of Pericles in the midst of it all, turning the city of Athens into the seat of an empire.

Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

3. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.

Peloponnesian War and Thucydides

4. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides

This lecture covers the Peloponnesian War. First we enumerate the causes of the war. Then we examine Pericles' plan to win it. We see how Pericles' plan eventually fell apart and how the Athenians struggled without leadership until their eventual destruction at the hands of the Spartans.

Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

5. Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

This lecture is a whirlwind tour through the life of Socrates. It begins with an explanation of the Socratic problem, followed by an examination of his philosophy. The lecture ends with a summary of Socrates' legacy.

Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

6. Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

This lecture examines the philosophy and legacy of Plato. It covers the Allegory of the Cave, the Realm of Forms and Plato's views on politics and the soul. Finally, it shows Plato's enduring legacy in modern science.

Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

7. Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

This lesson will explore the life of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It will highlight his life in Northern Greece and Athens, as well as his interactions with Alexander the Great. It will also explain the main tenants of Aristotelian logic.

Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism

8. Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism

This lesson describes Alexander the Great's mighty empire. Beginning with a brief account of his father Philip, the lecture then turns to an enumeration of Alexander's conquests. Next, Alexander's methods are explored. Finally, we will discuss Alexander's legacy of Hellenization.

The Library of Alexandria & The Benefits of Hellenization

9. The Library of Alexandria & The Benefits of Hellenization

This lecture begins by examining the spread of the Greek language and alphabet during the Hellenistic period and noting the implications of a universal language. Next we look at four factors that combined to make Alexandria the heart of Hellenistic scholarship: common language, a convenient alphabet, papyrus and climate.

Schools of Philosophy in Antiquity: Cynics, Epicureans & Stoics

10. Schools of Philosophy in Antiquity: Cynics, Epicureans & Stoics

In this lesson, we will study three schools of philosophy in antiquity: the Cynics, the Epicureans, and the Stoics. We will discuss the founder of each school, as well as its major characteristics.

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